One of the questions we get asked often at the Yountville Welcome Center is, “what winery can I visit that has a robust food and wine pairing in the Napa Valley?” The answer is easy! You simply have to go to Chadon for The Epicurean Culinary Experience.
A genuinely unique Wine Country experience, The Epicurean is a seated food and wine pairing featuring the most creative expressions of the season. The five-course meal paired expertly with both sparkling and still wines from Chandon. One of the best things about winter in Napa Valley is that the hills are green, and the days still stay pretty warm. On a beautiful Saturday, three of my friends and I headed up to Chandon for what turned out to be one of the best wine tasting experiences I have had in Yountville.
The Epicurean Culinary Experience takes place outside overlooking Chandon’s beautiful lawn. Even though it’s winter, the space is warm and comfortable. The perfect location to spend a few hours! Once we were seated, we quickly dove into our culinary experience!
First up was the Chanon’s Étolie Brut paired with one of the best soups I have ever had called, “From the Forest”. The Étolie Brut is bright and crisp with a hint of yeast on the finish. Made from the best lots of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with a little Meunier blended in, the winemaking team created an elegant wine easy to pair with food. The “From The Forest” dish was probably my favorite of the pairing. Served in an earthware bowl, the fragrant broth is covered with a parmesan crisp, complete with a mushroom first scene. The soup was so good we all picked up our bowls to finish the broth!
Our next course was the Reserve Blanc de Blancs paired with Tuna Tartare. The Tuna Tartare was accompanied by Asian pear, Persian cucumber and topped with Regiis Ova Ossetra Caviar. The dish was so fresh and light, and it paired so well with the crispness of the Reserve Blanc de Blancs.
Our third and fourth courses featured still wines from Chandon! Most people don’t realize Chandon also produces still wine and The Epicurean Culinary Experience is a great way to try them. We tasted the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2018 Carneros Chardonnay. A very interesting thing to note is that they served the Cabernet BEFORE the Chardonnay. As people who have grown up around wine and wine tastings, this was hard for my friends and I to understand, but we trusted the pairing and were not disappointed! Paired with the Cabernet was the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese topped with parmigiano reggiano. I don’t eat meat, so I was served a vegan version made with garden vegetables, and it was incredible! I asked the chef for the recipe, but he said it was secret. The Chardonnay was paired with spiny lobster from Santa Barbara and surrounded by an herb emulsion and lemon gel. I had never had spiny lobster and was surprised by how sweet the meat was. Even sweeter than Maine lobster! The Chardonnay was full-bodied, made in the famous Napa Valley style.
Last up dessert! For dessert we went back to sparkling wine with the Étoile Tête de Cuvée paired with a lemon and yuzu posset topped with meringue and pistachio tuiles. The Étoile Tête de Cuvée was my favorite wine of the pairing and for a good reason. French for star, étoile embodies the Chandon commitment to crafting the finest sparkling wine. It is the “star” of their portfolio. The dessert was unlike anything I had ever eaten. Bright and full of pops of flavor, it was the perfect way to end the tasting.
When visiting Yountville and the Napa Valley, there are many tasting options, but The Epicurean Culinary Experience should not be missed!
*Menu changes monthly